York Region’s sports heroes make us all extremely proud
May 29, 2014
Like a good rock anthem blasting through a stadium’s sound system, firing up the fans, the recent accomplishments of York Region’s athletes have us on our feet, hooting and hollering.
This month alone, we have reported on two phenomenal sports success stories in the region.
First up, top NBA prospect and Thornhill native Andrew Wiggins is expected to go high in the draft, if not first overall.
The city of Vaughan will honour this achievement by naming NBA draft day, June 26, Andrew Wiggins Day.
In King Township, Olympic hockey gold medallist Alex Pietrangelo, who helped Canada to a perfect record in Sochi, will be feted in July with a gold-medal celebration.
Meanwhile, Canada’s tennis phenomenon, Thornhill native Milos Raonic, will again this year host his Raonic Race for Kids, a fundraiser that benefits the Milos Raonic Foundation and Tennis Canada’s Let’s Make Tennis Matter for Kids campaign.
Similarly, Richmond Hill’s native son, world figure skating champion Elvis Stojko, recently provided the prize donation of a skating show for the York Region Abuse Program fundraising gala. He also attended that event.
Then there’s Canadian women’s Olympic hockey champion Gillian Apps, for whom a day in Markham was named after her Winter Olympics win.
And let’s remember Olympic winner and King Township resident Rosie MacLennan.
The township also hosted a mass celebration for her stellar 2012 achievement.
In Stouffville, Keith Acton has played and coached in the NHL for more than 30 years.
He is also the associate coach of the Edmonton Oilers. Ice pads at the Stouffville Clippers Complex are named for him.
Speaking of ice, Holland Landing’s Sam Bennett, who plays for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, is the top prospect for the NHL draft coming up June 27. Vaughan’s Michael Dal Colle, who plays with the Oshawa Generals, is rated fifth overall for the draft.
And let’s not forget Stouffville native and Olympic trampoline medallist Karen Cockburn. She was also feted by the township with a day held in her honour.
Finally, Newmarket’s Gabby Daleman enjoyed a celebration in her honour for her efforts at the Olympics this winter.
These local athletes have risen to the top of their fields and stand out as among the best in the world, but they are by no means the only local athletes who do us proud.
There are also many, many young athletes from our communities who are impressive or promising achievers.
What’s more, it is not only those who play in championships or bring home medals who are a source of pride to our community.
We want to take this opportunity to congratulate all our sports participants, who show commitment, energy, determination, tenacity and good sportsmanship in all they do.
And as the next round of athletic endeavours are set to begin, soccer and baseball spring to mind, this is a good time to salute them all.
BOTTOM LINE: All who participate in local sports deserve a salute for energy, commitment.